Were LGBTQ Skittles Labelled ‘White Pride’?

An unfortunate old photograph re-emerged online in June 2021 — LGBTQ Pride Month in the U.S. and other countries.

  • Published
Text, Electronics
Image via NoContextBrits/Twitter

Claim

White Skittles designed to celebrate LGBTQ Pride were labelled "Skittles White Pride" in a UK supermarket, as shown in a widely shared photograph.

Rating

What's True

The photograph was authentic. However ...

What's False

The "Skittles White Pride" shelf label was the result of an isolated oversight rather than a racially charged corporate expression of white supremacy on the part of SPAR, the supermarket chain, or Mars, which makes Skittles.

Origin

In June 2021, which is LGBTQ Pride Month in the United States and other countries, readers asked Snopes about a widely shared photograph that appeared to show a bag of white Skittles, designed to commemorate Pride, but labelled “White Pride” in a supermarket.

On June 3, for example, @NoContextBrits posted the photograph to Twitter, along with the caption, “I don’t think that’s the kind of pride they mean.” The wording on the shelf label — “Skittles White Pride” — could readily be interpreted as suggesting that the item was a racially charged expression of white supremacy:

The photograph was authentic, but it was the result of an oversight by whoever created the shelf labels in that particular supermarket, rather than a corporate policy on the part of SPAR, the Dutch supermarket chain in question, or Mars, which makes Skittles. As a result, we’re issuing a rating of “Mixture.”

Later on June 3, the UK Twitter account of SPAR clarified that the photograph related to a photograph taken in 2020, and resulted from a “labelling error that was quickly rectified”:

Hello, this was a labelling error last year that was quickly rectified. We will make sure it never happens again. Many thanks!

The slogan associated with the white Skittles is “During Pride, only one rainbow matters.” So the point of the campaign was that Skittles, which are multi-colored and famously marketed with the slogan “Taste the rainbow,” would be stripped of that rainbow theme during Pride month, in deference to and solidarity with Pride and the LGBTQ rainbow symbol.

Separate to SPAR’s “white pride” labelling kerfuffle, Mars has faced criticism for the decision to commemorate Pride by releasing all-white Skittles, especially after the move was first made in 2017.